THE Henley Festival is to stay where it is, the Henley Standard can reveal.
It will remain at the Henley Royal Regatta site for the “foreseeable future” after a U-turn by the festival’s board.
The festival was set to move to the Henley Business School next year in a bid to reduce its running costs, which this year reached £2 million.
But the decision provoked a huge backlash from supporters who called for a new lease to be negotiated with the royal regatta following the end of a 10-year agreement.
Jo Bausor, head of marketing, today released a statement on behalf of the festival, which said it had listened to the criticism.
It said: “Following concerns raised by the community of Henley about the move of the festival from the regatta site in 2014, an agreement has been reached with the committee of Henley Royal Regatta which will allow the festival to stay at the regatta site for the foreseeable future.
“Both events are aware of their importance to the town and how well they have combined for the past 30 years.
“The board of the festival, backed by the committee of the regatta, is committed to ensuring that the festival remains a spectacular event for Henley and to deliver value for its charitable purposes.”
The festival has now turned its back on the 15-year lease it had signed with the business school, which is part of the University of Reading.
It had defended its decision to relocate after it was revealed that this year’s five-day event, featuring the Beach Boys, Madness, Jamie Cullum and Paloma Faith, lost £50,000.
* Do you agree with the Festival organisers' decision to stay at the Henley Royal Regatta site? Have your say on our home page poll by clicking here. Alternatively, email the Editor your views at email@example.com